It never used to be like this. Not when we were sixteen and overused exclamation points in everything.
We never used to have these stories, never used to be in the middle of them, or on the edge of them, but now we are. Us who are between seedling twenty and who-knows- what.
And I realize it’s not because I’ve become more sensitive that I can’t go through the names of my twenty closest friends without catching my breath on almost every one and breathing prayers.
It’s this time. It’s the age of me–the age of my friends.
It’s us, still little, still young, in the middle of being tested, bent by real life though we still feel sixteen inside.
We have barely touched adulthood, but still cling to our tarnished adolescent idealism, disillusioned, but our fingers tighten, reluctant to let it go.
I guess we don’t grow into adulthood. I guess we crack, we splinter, and we fall all over our own two feet to get there.
And we plough through relationships that people spend years writing self help books on and try to do it right. Oh, we try hard. And just as hard, we wrestle though life wide decisions and, blast it all, we are going to follow God’s will. And this is the age when we start to wonder if we even know how.
We now realize that answers cannot be neatly printed in the blanks spaces of Sunday school worksheets, with our favorite red crayon. And no matter how close we follow what those respected for-youth books said to do, we don’t end up where they said we would be.
Our hearts still feel little, but we are in the middle of big stories now. And we are blinking.
It’s the time–the age–when petty faith shatters on the marble of real life and what we never doubted we do. In the light streaming in from the window we start sifting though the pieces to find the shards that are real glass and to throw away the scotch tape for good.
And stretching, stretching, our stories pull us bigger.
This is the age when the littleness inside us starts leaving. But gracious, how it breaks the bones! And we hold each other up and say “In 10 years or forever…”
But this is the age of rejoicing too because life is hope and we can just hang out and be confused together. And we tell each other that our stories are not unknown to the Greater Story and we are part of it and are meant to be part of it, which is the biggest miracle of all. So we laugh at each other.
And as Joshua Radin sings,
“We are grown but cannot see.
Lost our world of make believe….
But we are okay, we are alright
We sing very loud.
Ya, we’re singing.
We are okay, we are alright…”
And this is where we sing very loud, and eat popcorn, and sit in coffee shops, and talk, and find our faith for real—and walk ahead whether we see the path or not, altogether.
This is the age of blind ones walking and all we see yet is trees where our stories lie.
Oh Esta. (whom I do not know, but feel a certain kinship with)
This post resounded deeply with me, for I am there too. Where “the littleness inside us starts leaving”. It’s good to know that other people have stories that are stretching them bigger. Comforting, you know?
I don’t remember how I found your blog. I like it lots and lots. 🙂
Oh, and the same could be said of your ship. 🙂 It’s striking.
Thank you. I needed this.
Yes, well said. I’m a few years older than you…but still feel sixteen/eighteen at times…still trying to figure this life stuff all out–overwhelmed by it at times.
Emily Smucker said:
This is just so pretty. Thanks for sharing dear.
deborah miller said:
Thank you. You don’t know me, and I you, but your words give me hope…thanks sister.
Esta…you amaze me woman, everytime. You described exactly what I cannot put into words. Thank you
Esta, I finally know why I love reading your blog so much. It’s because you say what is exactly on my heart out loud.
Esta dear… sometimes, you make me cry. Like now.
Every word resonated and found its way into the corners of my soul, and tears came to my eyes and yet I laughed and said, “yes, yes, this is how it is, and thanks be to our God.”
“blast it all, we are going to follow God’s will. And this is the age when we start to wonder if we even know how. . . . . when faith shatters on the marble of real life” somehow we expect faith to be confident. More often then not I’ve found faith choices to be vulnerably unsure ones. Sounds like you’re on the right track 😉
This resonated deeply with me too… you said it just right. I love you Esta!!
Mari Jean said:
This is beautiful. You have a way of making what is yelling inside us less large and confusing, simply by taking it out and looking at it.
“And this is where we sing very loud, and eat popcorn, and sit in coffee shops, and talk, and find our faith for real—and walk ahead whether we see the path or not, altogether.
This is the age of blind ones walking and all we see yet is trees where our stories lie.”
And I love your header. Perfection.
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~Rachel H~ said:
This touched me deeply. You made me cry Esta. “Thank you” sounds so paltry, but nonetheless I don’t know what else to say.
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You are a writer. God has blessed you with a precious gift. Never take it for granted. And keep writing.
oops, the above was me:)
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